The masters of German PC peripheral engineering came out with their best possible mouse – check out our review of the ROCCAT Kone Pro Air.
What do players need to look for in a good wireless gaming mouse?
Going high-end for your peripherals and hardware is one of the best feelings in the world when it comes to PC gaming. While you still need to put a significant chunk of your budget towards the important stuff in the tower, it’s always great to have leeway for your wireless gaming mouse and a mechanical keyboard, two very integral things to have especially if you’re a very competitive multiplayer gamer.
To that end, one of the most important aspects to look for in terms of a wireless gaming mouse is its weight and shape. Having the perfect weight to feel as little tension as possible while swinging the mouse around is the dream, as it frees up strain on your hands as you line up that perfect shot. The shape plays into these factors as well, everyone holds their mouse slightly differently: having a shape that can fit all of those ways would be the best to have, as it can cover for a lot of users in the first place.
Wireless options should also be looked into. Bluetooth itself can be a bit troublesome at times, so a gaming mouse that uses a 2.4GHz wireless option is great to have, especially if you’re using a PC with 5GHz Wi-Fi or an ethernet connection as it won’t cause any interference.
ROCCAT’s newest offering, the Kone Pro Air, definitely ticks these boxes. It’s easily one of the best gaming mice released this year, and you can learn more about it by reading our Kone Pro Air review below.
ROCCAT Kone Pro Air specs
- ROCCAT’s proprietary Owl-Eye 19K optical sensor, with adjustable lift-off distance and 50g of acceleration
- ROCCAT’s proprietary Titan Switch Optical for the left and right mouse keys, both 100 million clicks life cycle
- ROCCAT Bionic Shell for a light 75g mouse weight
- 2.4GHz wireless with dongle or Bluetooth for connectivity options
- PhantomFlex USB-C charging cable, with Rapid Charge technology, 1.8m in length
- Titan Wheel Pro scroll button technology
- Heat-treated pure PTFE glides, pre-tuned
- ROCCAT Swarm and ROCCAT Neon (currently unavailable) software compatibility
- AIMO 16.8 million color RGB lighting
- Improved ergonomics for the classic Kone shape
Gamelevate’s review of the ROCCAT Kone Pro Air
Shape and weight
For almost two years now, I’ve been looking for a wireless gaming mouse that can top the G502 Hero that I’ve been using for the past three years. While the weight of that mouse has grown on me in terms of control, I’ve been trying to get more into shooters once again, and its weight has been a big hindrance for those purposes. However, going full lightweight is not something I want to, either, as it feels somewhat weird and uncanny to use those.
If you’re stuck in the same weird spot as I am – at least until a week ago – then the Kone Pro Air is the perfect wireless gaming mouse to have. The weight, which sits at 75g, is the perfect balance for those looking to let their arms fly as freely as possible while maintaining control when needed. The Kone Pro Air achieved this with ROCCAT’s Bionic Shell, which is a honeycomb design that some of the other, more lightweight mice use, albeit in a less tacky form. The design keeps out dust and dirt, and it also looks phenomenal with the RGB lighting sprucing up the translucent main clicks.
The shape is also something I fell in love with, although I have to say that it’s an acquired taste at first. The Kone Pro Air was designed to cover the three main grips in mind (the claw grip, the palm grip, and the fingertip grip), and as such, the shape can feel a bit off for someone who’s grown used to designs that cater to one grip only. I had a bit of trouble adjusting to the slope of the main clicks as a claw gripper myself, but all of those troubles faded just after a day.
Once you get used to the shape, you’ll find why ROCCAT touts it as the perfected form of their iconic Kone design. It sticks to your hand very comfortably, and there are very few instances where you have to readjust your hand to keep up. The Kone Pro Air is sized just right to fit most hands, and the ergonomics are the cleanest and most impressive I have seen on a wireless gaming mouse. In terms of its shape and weight, the Kone Pro Air is a marvel of German design and engineering.
Clicks and connectivity
I have never used an optical switch before the Kone Pro Air, and now that I’ve had a taste of it, I’m worried if this mouse has spoiled regular mouse switches for me. ROCCAT’s proprietary Titan Switch Optical makes use of light actuation, meaning that there’s almost zero input delay when it comes to your clicks but without losing that satisfying clickiness to it.
If you’ve been using regular mouse switches before, you will find it a bit jarring at first. The speed-of-light actuation made me re-compensate for timing as there is no noticeable delay on the clicks, an issue that will sometimes lead you to press buttons for longer. After a few rounds of playing Slayer in Halo Reach, though, I was able to readjust, and it was a brand new and a definitely more competitive experience. The Kone Pro Air should be considered by anyone looking to go competitive in first-person shooters, as its switches are legit and praiseworthy.
The wheel is also something to clamor about. ROCCAT’s Titan Wheel Pro is easily one of the most underrated parts of the Kone Pro Air, as I think that this is one of the best avenues they tuned in terms of dropping the weight to that perfect 75g mark. It’s milled from solid aluminum, which makes it incredibly durable, and the clicks themselves are very responsive. I also quite like the minimalist aesthetic it has, which fits the overall theme of the mouse.
Another driving force behind the overall click responsiveness is the Kone Pro Air’s connectivity options. You can go three ways with this bad boy – 2.4GHz with the included dongle, regular Bluetooth connection, or even wired (I don’t know why anyone would do this, just buy a wired Kone Pro mouse if that’s your thing) with the included PhantomFlex USB-C charging cable.
The 2.4Ghz wireless option is the best in my opinion, especially if you’re connected to the internet with ethernet. There’s zero lag and I have never felt a drop or missed input, even at something within a one-meter range. I keep the dongle at the top of my desk through my headset stand, which always gives me the Excellent signal rating via the ROCCAT Swarm software.
The Kone Pro Air has a physical slider below it that allows you to change your connectivity on the fly. It also works in an instant – for the 2.4GHz option, at least. Bluetooth is great, too, but if you’re keen on input lag just by moving your mouse around you’ll definitely find that there’s a noticeable difference between the former and 2.4GHz wireless. Pairing during the first time is also quick and painless, and you can easily jump in even without software – although it’s recommended as there’s no other way to access any of the DPI or polling settings.
Sensors and glides
The Kone Pro Air is fitted with ROCCAT’s own Owl-Eye 19K optical sensor. Configured via the ROCCAT Swarm software, you can pick any DPI from 50 to 19000. Tuning seems very decent, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a DPI that does not fit you at all. I will say that depending on the mouse you’re coming from, the sensors seem to have different calibrations; I used to run 1850 on my G502 Hero, and I found that the one that matches it the most on the Kone Pro Air is 1700.
It’s also very accurate and responsive, made better with the tech on the mouse’s underside. The Kone Pro Air features heat-treated pure PTFE glides, which run smoothly on a cloth mouse mat. The glides have also been pre-tuned, meaning that there is no need to break it in; you can immediately jump into the action and feel like you’ve already used it for a long time as it glides efficiently through your pad.
The Kone Pro Air also runs great on several surfaces. I’ve tested it on the wood top surface of my desk, as well as a tiled surface just for kicks, and the PTFE glides are really amazing in making the mouse feel like it’s on a high-end mouse mat each and every time.
Software and lighting
As of the time of writing, the Kone Pro Air’s only choice of software is the ROCCAT Swarm. There are plans to have it implemented with the ROCCAT Neon, but only the Syn Pro Air, the company’s newest wireless headset, can be operated there right now. In any case, the ROCCAT Swarm is decent in what it provides for DPI settings, pointer speeds, mouse acceleration, button remapping, scroll and double click speeds, polling rate, angle snapping, and macro creation.
To start with, the DPI settings part of the software runs great. You can configure up to five default DPI options, and you can use a slider to adjust it or type the DPI you want instead. I do have some issues with it, though; at a glance, you can’t tell what DPI you have currently chosen. The Swarm only comes in dark-themed mode, and the interface for DPI is not clear.
There’s also no easy option to mark the DPI of your choice. There are checkmarks on the left side, but that is for turning off the other DPI options rather than choosing them. Instead, what you have to do is click somewhere near the sides: this is very counterintuitive to use as you can easily misclick the slider or the checkmark itself. I hope that this issue can be rectified in the Neon software once the Kone Pro Air makes its way there in the future.
I do appreciate the fact that there’s a neat DPI calibration tool built into the software, which can measure your proposed DPI settings according to how fast you can click targets. It’s a good program for those who are unsure of their DPI settings and can help you find the perfect DPI in your games of choice.
Button assignment can either be relatively simple or a pain, depending on how far you’re going with it. If you only want to utilize the standard buttons, there are eight of them and they’re very easy to remap. There’s also quite a wide selection of hotkeys and macros that can be dedicated to each button, which is very commendable as it helps your small selection of buttons grow larger depending on the programs you use.
Where things get more complicated is ROCCAT’s Easy-Shift. The Kone Pro Air does not come with its software out of the box: you will have to go to ROCCAT’s site to download it. While it may seem that you only need the Swarm, Talk FX is required if you want to use ROCCAT’s Easy-Shift for remapping. It’s quite counterintuitive to use Talk FX, and in the end, I have not managed to remap any of the buttons for Easy-Shift; waiting for tech support would have delayed our review of the Kone Pro Air.
On the flip side, the AIMO RGB lighting is exciting to use and very much on par with the Kone Pro Air’s capabilities. It can change on the fly depending on what you’re doing, and it’s very responsive to presses and glides as well. There’s also the option to just have the RGB static if you’re trying to keep a theme, as well as the other standard RGB choices, but for those of us who want something akin to a rave when they’re gaming, the AIMO is an amazing companion to have.
In terms of its hardware and overall engineering, the Kone Pro Air is one of the best examples of why German design and engineering are superior, and our review should reflect that. ROCCAT’s next-level iteration of their iconic Kone is its best yet, and I’d be very surprised if they manage to top this one if they ever decide to try and improve on it for the next generation. The Kone Pro Air is perfect for those who can splurge for their gaming mice needs, and it’s well worth the ask, as it hits all the right spots with only very few stumbles – mainly on the software side.
- Ergonomic, perfected Kone design
- Perfect balance of weight and speed
- Accurate and responsive clicks
- Zero-lag connectivity
- Amazing for competitive play
- Current software is lacking
- Price point may be out of reach for some
Kone Pro Air review unit provided by ROCCAT in exchange for a fair and honest review.